March 11, 2022

#056: John B. Quinn - Prominent Litigator & Founder of Quinn Emanuel


In this episode I speak with John B. Quinn who is one of the world’s top trial lawyers and also the founder of one of its top law firms. Bloomberg has described John as one of the “most famous practicing lawyers in the world.” During his career, he has represented numerous major companies and prominent individuals in important cases across practically every area of legal practice. Quinn Emanuel, the litigation-only firm which John co-founded in 1986 with three other attorneys, is one of the world's most successful and profitable law firms and boasts more than 800 litigators worldwide. 

In our conversation we discuss his path to the law; the decision to leave a prestigious transactional practice at Cravath in New York City as a third-year associate to move to California; starting and growing his own law firm (even after having his first attempt at starting a law firm fail); learning to litigate by litigating (as opposed to the more traditional apprenticeship approach); the techniques and mental models that make high-quality litigators stand out from the pack; the importance of knowing what will ultimately matter in a case first; and the decisions that he and his firm have made to build such a successful, lucrative, and unique practice including, most recently, announcing a shift to a permanent "work from anywhere" model.  

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This episode is sponsored, edited, and engineered by LawPods, a professional podcast production company for busy attorneys.